International Women
International Women's Day Logo

International Women’s Day, or International Working Women’s Day as it was originally named, is on 8th March each year. The intention of the day, and of the Women’s History Month that promotes the wider recognition of women and our struggles, is to draw attention to the experiences, struggles and triumphs of women worldwide.

This year, perhaps more than any other, we are aware of the extraordinary and unreasonable burdens placed on women as primary caregivers, in addition to the usual pressures of balancing paid and unpaid work.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day – Choose to Challenge – reminds us that we all have the capacity and responsibility to work for the liberation, emancipation and right to self-determination for all women.

The list of events below is a tiny fraction of the events being held online this year, chosen on the basis of being focused on women and our concerns, inclusive, and free. Hopefully you’ll find something to inspire you. Solidarity and sisterhood!

Jude Roberts, Bicester Branch Women’s Officer
Amanda Watkins, Banbury and Bicester CLP Women’s Officer

Monday 8th March 1-2pm

‘Bitch’, ‘bint’, and ‘maid’: exploring sexist language in the dictionary 

Organised by Oxford Languages (who write the OED)

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Oxford Languages team will be holding a panel discussion to explore how and why sexist terms are recorded in the dictionary and what this language tells us about the world around us.

Drawing on real evidence of language use, the panel will discuss why the dictionary even captures terms like ‘bitch’, ‘bint’, and ‘maid’; what these most challenging definitions tell us; and the trends we’re seeing right now around women and language.

  • Katherine Martin, Head of Product, Oxford Languages
  • Eleanor Maier, Executive Editor, Oxford English Dictionary
  • Professor Helen Taylor, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Exeter and author of Why Women Read Fiction
  • Dr Sarah Ogilvie, Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford
  • Chair: Leila McKenzie-Delis, CEO, DIAL Global


Monday 8th March 2pm

International Women’s Day Celebration 

Organised by Unite the Union: Unite Community South-east Region

Unite the Union CSNS Community Branch are hosting their own International Women’s Day celebration on March 8th at 2:00pm and are hoping you can all join us!

Dr Coral Jones: Vice-Chair, Doctors in Unite, Socialist Health Associations

Kate Flannery: Secretary, Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

Dot Gibson: Deputy General Secretary of National Pensioners Convention


Monday 8th March 7.30pm

International Women’s Day 2021 

Organised by Ealing Trades Council

Ealing Trades Union Council is delighted to once again present a celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th. It’s even more relevant than usual – women have been carrying the brunt of the crisis while their work and leadership has been under-recognised.

Sarah Woolley – General Secretary of the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union – fighting for justice on the fast food and retail front line.

Kirsty Newton – Amazing professional singer songwriter – “A stunning musician to raise the spirits”

Janine Booth Popular performing poet, author and troublemaker – A regular feature of our IWD celebration.

Holly Turner – Passionate campaigning nurse from “NHS Workers say No!” on the fight for pay justice.

Sarbjit Johal from South Asia Solidarity on the powerful women in the Indian farmers uprising.

Also featuring:

Grace Quansah – local poet, author & storyteller

Lydia Ndoinjeh – our female ‘quizmaster’ – for our short & sweet quiz.

Host- Eve Turner (Ealing TUC)


Tuesday 9th March 6pm

Why are we socialist feminists? – Building a Socialist Feminist Movement for the 21st Century 

Organised by The World Transformed and Momentum

With the triple pressures of COVID-19, climate change and austerity disproportionately affecting women, and women of colour especially, the stakes could not be higher. So join us as we strategise how to build an inclusive movement that fights for the interests of all working class women.

Host: Maya Goodfellow – writer, academic and author of ‘Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats’

Bell Ribeiro-Addy – MP for Streatham and member of the Socialist Campaign Group

Igi Moon – Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University, Winner of the GLADD David Harvey Award 2019, London Intersex + Trans Community Healthcare Hub

Hilary Wainwright – Co-editor of Red Pepper magazine and author of ‘Beyond the Fragments’

Solma Ahmed – Momentum NCG member, experienced campaigner for the rights of migrant women, and Labour National Women’s Committee candidate

Chardine Taylor Stone (personal capacity) – writer, activist, educator and trade unionist, currently writing her first book on the neoliberalisation of Black feminism

Jess Barnard, chair of Young Labour, county councillor for Nelson Ward in Norwich and a youth worker by:


Tuesday 9th March 7-10pm

International Women’s Day 2021: Women and the Pandemic 

Organised by Leyton & Wanstead Labour Party Women’s Branch

Event sponsored by: Leyton and Wanstead CLP Women’s Branch, Leyton and Wanstead CLP, Chingford and Woodford Green Women’s Forum, Forest Women’s Group, and East London Unite Community

An inspiring evening commemorating the role of women during the pandemic with speeches and cultural performances.

The pandemic highlighted the importance and centrality of women in holding our society together in paid and unpaid work, and organising mutual aid. We also faced rising domestic violence, gender, racist and disablist oppression, and health care crises. Alongside speakers, we will have poetry, dance, singing, spoken word and comedy celebrate women’s strengths and struggles on International Women’s Day.

Anna Johnstone (Women’s Budget Group), Julia Veros (United Voices of the World; Sage Nursing Home Strike), Maria Fawcett (Redbridge NEU), Sandra Daniels (Reclaim Social Care, Reclaim our Futures Alliance), NHS workers, Shazia Ramzan (Forgotten Women), Ashiana (Domestic Violence Support), and Sarah Chaney (Chingford and Woodford Green Mutual Aid).

Poetry: Andreena Leeanne, Ranjna Gopal, & Carole Vincent

Music: Dionne and Iman and singing together

Dancing: Mevy

and comedy by Sue Catten.


Wednesday 10th March 6-6.45pm

There’s No Place like Home: A Woman’s Place in the Pandemic? 

Organised by York St John University

Join York St John University and a panel of experts for an open discussion on the impact of the pandemic on gender equality in the UK.

Few things stop progress like a global pandemic, but what many did not anticipate is just how far it would turn back the clock. To mark International Women’s Day, our panel of experts will be exploring the impact of the pandemic on gender inequality by taking a closer look at those who are most at risk when there is nowhere to go but your own home.

After more than a year of living with Covid-19, our panellists will discuss the ways in which gender and racial inequalities in healthcare, at home, and at work are being exacerbated. They will also reflect on what it might mean to ‘build back better’.

Felicia Willow is the Interim Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society.

Sarah Hill is the CEO of Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS). She is the current Chair of the Women’s Aid Federation of England.

Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi is a Senior Lecturer in Law at York St John University. Her research focusses on company law, corporate governance, zero hours contracts and shared parental leave.

Dr Esther McIntosh held a lectureship in Religion, Gender and Ethics at the University of Leeds until 2008, before joining York St John University. Her work is interdisciplinary, predominantly in the fields of feminist theology and ethics, and underpinned by a concern for gender justice.


Wednesday 10th March 6pm-7.30pm

Flawlessly Imperfect Workshop with Selina Brown 

Organised by Poplar Union

As part of our Women in Focus series, Selina Brown will be running an online workshop challenging women’s view on self and others through fun and creative exercises to break down barriers and connect.

Women are expected to be multi taskers and can be labelled as “emotional” if they cry, a “bitch” if upfront and a “whore” if they enjoy sex, but these are definitions created by society. Flawlessly Imperfect explores these labels and challenges them in a safe and nurturing environment.

Selina is an accomplished facilitator with over 5 years’ experience of delivering and writing workshops within the corporate and creative field. She has worked with companies such as Catalyst Housing Association, Poplar Union, The Federation of Entertainment of Unions (FEU) that include The Writers Guild and Rise UK, a domestic violence survivor’s charity.


Wednesday 10th March 6.30-7.30pm

Women in the Media Today  

Organised by London School of Economics

On the centenary of the female produced magazine Time and Tide, journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed considers the challenges for women in the media in Britain today. Samira Ahmed currently presents Front Row on BBC Radio 4 and Newswatch on BBC1 and the Intelligence Squared podcast How I Found My Voice. The event is chaired by Professor Shani Orgad who is Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE.


Thursday 11th March 1pm

Why it’s vital that women journalists can work in safety 

Open Democracy

There has been a huge increase in the number of women journalists being detained and abused because of their work. Why is this happening? And what harm does it do to societies at large?

Mona Eltahawy: Feminist author, commentator and disruptor of patriarchy. Her latest book ‘The Seven Necessary Sins For Women and Girls’ took her disruption worldwide

Lydia Namubiru: Africa editor, openDemocracy

Rebecca Vincent: Director of international campaigns, Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Chair, Mary Fitzgerald: Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy


Thursday 11th March 8pm

In Conversation with Anneliese Dodds MP 

Organised by Labour Women’s Network

This International Women’s Day week, LWN is delighted to invite you to a frank and feminist “in conversation” event with Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds MP and guest interviewer Hannah Al-Othman, Sunday Times journalist.

This event will explore the opportunities and challenges of being the first woman Shadow Chancellor, and allow the audience to better understand Anneliese’s political journey and motivations, as well as her ambitions for the country, and for the future of the Labour Party. With Covid-19 and Brexit hitting women disproportionately hard, and fresh from responding to the Budget, it will be great to hear from Anneliese’s about plans for a fairer alternative, what it is like to shadow the tricky opponent of Rishi Sunak, and the key role she is playing in Labour’s road back to Government. The evening will be introduced by Abena Oppong-Asare MP, who in addition to her role supporting Anneliese as Shadow Exchequer Secretary, is also Chair of Labour Women’s Network, and proudly the first black Chair of LWN.


Friday 12th March 4.30pm

#ChooseToChallenge Feminist Poetry Workshop 

Organised by Hillingdon Women’s Centre

Join Emma Filtness and Marie-Teresa Hanna with Hillingdon Women’s Centre for a feminist poetry workshop exploring this year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme #ChooseToChallenge.

“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.” – IWD2021

This workshop is suitable for all women – no prior poetry or creative writing experience is necessary, just come with curiosity and a willingness to give it a try. Together, we’ll be reading poems by Indian poet and dancer Rishani Doshi and by African American poet and activist Sonya Renee Taylor, discussing girlhood, womanhood and bodies, and drafting our own poems inspired by Doshi and Taylor.


8th-12th March

Women at Imperial Week 2021 

Organised by Imperial College, London

Women at Imperial is an annual event that takes place around International Women’s Day. Women at Imperial Week 2021 will be taking place online from 8 – 12 March. This year the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is #ChoosetoChallenge, which aims to “Celebrate women’s achievement; raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality.”


Friday 26th March 8pm – 9:15pm

Women In The Room At The Founding Of The Labour Party 

Organised by Labour Women’s Network

Women played a significant role in the founding of the Labour Party but have often have been almost completely written out of our history until our very own Nan Sloane published her 2018 book, The Women in the Room: Labour’s Forgotten History.

Nan is currently writing her second book about radical, reforming and revolutionary women at the turn of the nineteenth century which is set to be published later this year.

Kiran Mahil will lead this “in conversation” style event, with Nan also reading to us from The Women in the Room. Discussions will centre on women’s role in Labour’s foundation, with questions also invited from the floor.

Kiran, originally from Birmingham is now a secondary school leader in East London, as well as LWN Secretary. Before her career change into history teaching, Kiran was the Labour Party’s National Equalities Officer, at the time of Labour’s Equality Act. She also worked for Rt. Hon. Yvette Cooper MP, where she was part of the team who revealed that women were being hardest hit by austerity cuts.

LWN is proud to stand on the shoulders of these inspirational women, it is our duty to make sure their names are heard, known and understood far and wide.  So join Nan and Kiran to hear extract of Nan’s book and join in the conversation on Friday, 26th March from 8pm for an evening of feminist history within our Party.


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